Chris Pincher, Conservative Party deputy chief whip, has resigned from his position following two allegations of groping at the Carlton Club in London, the Tory Party’s exclusive private members club.
Since his resignation on Friday (1 July), a number of other accusations against him have been raised.
This is the second time that Pincher has quit as whip over accusations of inappropriate behaviour.
The Conservative whip has now been suspended from Mr Pincher after an investigation was launched into the allegations, and Boris Johnson bowed to pressure after a complaint about the MP was made to Parliament’s watchdog that examines allegations of bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct.
It has since emerged that the prime minister, Boris Johnson, had been briefed about a 2019 allegation made against Mr Pincher, when Downing Street said he was unaware of specific claims.
This is everything you need to know.
Who is Chris Pincher - what is his constituency?
Pincher is a British Conservative politician who had been appointed as deputy chief whip on 8 February 2022, after having previously been the Government whip from June 2017 to November 2017, and assistant government whip from 17 July 2016 to 15 June 2017.
He was born 24 September 1969 in Walsall, Staffordshire, and has been a member of the Conversative Party since 1987 and has served as the Tory MP for Tamworth since 2010.
When Boris Johnson took the position of Prime Minister in July 2019, Pincher was appointed the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas and, in the February 2020 reshuffle, he was then placed in the position as the Minister of State for Housing.
Outside of politics, Pincher writes a drinks column for The Critic.
Is Chris Pincher married?
Pincher does not appear to be married - in the personal life section of his website, it states that the MP is “a member of Tamworth’s Hodge Lane Nature Reserve, the Peel Society and a Patron of the Canwell Show” and that he “enjoys playing golf, watching horse racing and grand prix, and reading”, with his favourite authors being Evelyn Waugh, Arnold Bennett, R L Stevenson, John Buchan and Simon Raven.
It also adds that “he is a member of the Traveller’s Club and enjoys travel abroad when time and finances allow”, however makes no mention of any relationships.
Pincher has also made no public statements regarding his sexuality.
What are the allegations against Chris Pincher?
On Friday 1 July, Pincher resigned from his position at the Tory deputy chief whip following allegations that he groped two men in a private members’ club.
According to the Sun, the 52 year old allegedly groped two fellow patrons at the Carlton Club in London’s Piccadilly on Wednesday (29 June), which is the Tory Party’s exclusive private members club.
In his resignation letter to Johnson, Pincher wrote: “Dear Prime Minister.
“Last night I drank far too much. I’ve embarrassed myself and other people which is the last thing I want to do and for that I apologise to you and those concerned. I think the right thing to do in the circumstances is for me to resign as Deputy Chief Whip. I owe it to you and the people I’ve caused upset to, to do this.
“I want to assure you that you will continue to have my full support from the back benches, and I wish you all the best as you deal with aftershocks of COVID and the challenges of international inflation.
“It has been the honour of my life to have served in Her Majesty’s Government.”
As it stands, Pincher will continue to serve as an MP - however there have been calls made to Johnson to remove him.
Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain has said it is “difficult to see” how Pincher can remain as an MP.
Chamberlain said: “Given the seriousness of these allegations, it’s difficult to see how Chris Pincher can continue as an MP.
“This sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable in Parliament or anywhere else.
“There now needs to be a full investigation and in the meantime Chris Pincher should have the Conservative whip withdrawn.”
Shadow leader of the House of Commons Thangam Debbonaire also said that the fact that Pincher has not yet been removed from the Conservative Party “is part of a wider culture, which comes from the top I’m afraid, of tolerance of poor behaviour”.
She said: “The responsibility is now on the Prime Minister, the Tory Prime Minister and those propping him up to demand, expect and enforce the highest standards of behaviour”.
Since his resignation, a number of other accusations have been raised against the MP, including:
- A Tory MP who alleged that Pincher assaulted him twice, once in December 2021 and again earlier this year
- A former Tory staffer who claimed that Pincher threatened to report her to her boss after she attempted to prevent his “lecherous” advances on a young man at a Tory party conference in 2013
- Two Tory MPs who alleged that Pincher made unwanted advanced at them in 2017 and 2018
What did Alex Story say about him in 2017?
Pincher served as assistant whip and Comptroller of the Household in 2017, however he resigned from the position on 5 November 2017 and referred himself to the Conservative party’s complaints procedure and the police.
The move came about after former Olympic rower and Conservative candidate Alex Story alleged that nine years previously, when Pincher was an MP, Pincher had made an unwanted advance on him after he had invited him back to his London home.
Story claimed that Pincher had attempted to untuck his shirt and had massaged his neck. He said that Pincher poured him a whisky and whispered to him: “You’ll go far in the Conservative Party.”
Pincher then allegedly left the room and when he returned, Story said he was wearing a “bathrobe like a pound shop Harvey Weinstein, with his chest and belly sticking out”.
Story then left the premises.
At the time, Pincher responded to the accusation by saying: “If Mr Story has ever felt offended by anything I said, then I can only apologise to him.”
Pincher was later cleared by the Conservative party of breaching party rules, following an investigation into the allegation.
A Conservative spokesperson said: “Following media allegations, Chris Pincher referred himself to our code of conduct.
“Following an investigation, a panel headed by an independent QC considered the evidence and has concluded there has not been a breach of the code of conduct.”
In a separate incident, Pincher was also accused of “touching up” by former MP Tom Blenkinsop, who told him to “f**k off”.